Seasonal Reflection:  Easter, 2018

Reflecting on Peace


As we enter the Easter season, let us look back for a moment to the journey we took to get here. It began with Ash Wednesday, a day when we are told to remember our mortality and to repent of our sinfulness. This year that message was painfully lived out with the massacre of 17 members of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School community in Parkland, Florida. Their mortality was all too real and too premature. Sin was also all too real, whether we think of the act of the gunman in that way or the circumstances that led him to his deadly act, be they instances of personal dysfunction, societal neglect, or cultural violence.

But Ash Wednesday is only the first day of an entire season that leads us to Easter. Lent is an opportunity to move from death to life, from sin to virtue. And the students of Stoneman Douglas High have given us a tremendous example of how that too can be real. This time a school massacre didn’t end with thoughts and prayers from an intransigent group of adult lawmakers, gun lobbyists, and gun advocates. This time students rose up and spoke out. They walked out and rallied and marched and went to state and federal legislators. And many, MANY adults followed their lead. By Palm Sunday weekend, nearly one million people of all ages and colors and nationalities in the U.S.A. and across oceans participated in massive public actions to say, “ENOUGH!” “THE TIME IS NOW!” And they—we—have no intention of letting up.

Oh, the opposition is rising, too, as they turned on Jesus during what we now commemorate as Holy Week. Student activists are being criticized, threatened, and slandered, as Jesus was falsely arrested, tortured, and crucified.

But we know what happened on Easter Sunday. Light overcame darkness. Life conquered death. Hope was restored. Jesus returned with a greeting of Peace, and he commissioned his disciples to do as he did.

The students of Marjory Stoneman High School and all whom they have inspired are a modern-day sign of light, life and hope. Their call for sane gun control is a greeting of Peace. Whether they think of it that way or not, it is as if they, too, have been sent forth. They have taken the pain of Ash Wednesday and transformed it into the energy of a movement to put people before profits, safety before gun rights, life over death. They are a Resurrection people. May we be no less.

 

Prayer

 

As the world sings triumphant cries to heaven over death that you conquered, help us, Lord, tomorrow as well, when the dresses are put away and the candy is all eaten and on with life we go let us not forget.

The celebration of your resurrection over death is a celebration of life that should continue well beyond the sunrise service and the music, rehearsed for days prior; it is beyond the sign of spring, beyond the lily, beyond new lambs grazing in open fields.

Resurrection is a daily celebration over fear; man's greatest and most powerful enemy. Fear of tomorrow, fear of our yesterdays, fear of what shall become of our young our old our unborn. Resurrection is replacing fear with physical action.

This alone, the most touching and profound of your signs that fear is dead and belief in you brings not just hope but life.

What better living parable could You have brought? All fear death. All. Even in the garden, You took on our fear if for only moments, it was as real as our fears can be real and You knew then that this single enemy must be destroyed.

And, You sacrificed your life, leaving those who had been comfort, and follower; You left them behind, to conquer fear.

I shall cling to this now, and the tomorrows given me.

Peace and thanksgiving lifted unto you.

Amen.

Source: https://www.xavier.edu/jesuitresource/online-resources/Lent,-Easter,-and-Spring-Prayers.cfm

 



Suggested Actions

  • *  Pray that peacemakers of all stripes have the courage and creativity, energy and endurance, hope and vision to stick with the mission of peacemaking always and everywhere.

    *  Study the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, various interpretations, and various approaches to dealing with it. Study ways to talk to people with strong differences of opinion on the issue of gun rights and gun control.

    *  Act with those whose position puts God’s commandments of love and mercy above any other. Write, speak, rally, march, vote. Be aware of anyone who is vulnerable to gun violence as victim or perpetrator. Where someone needs a compassionate ear, an encouraging word, or a helping hand, be that for him or her.

    - Stay on top of things through PCMNY’s e-mail action alert network, website, Facebook page, Twitter account, and activities

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Reflection Archives

2018: Lent  Ordinary Time  2017:  Christmas  Advent
   Summer   Easter   Lent   Ordinary Time     2016:  Christmas   Advent   Fall   Summer  

 

                                    Pax Christi Metro New York © 2018 
371 Sixth Avenue, New York, NY 10014 | (212)420-0250 | fax (212)420-1628 | info@nypaxchristi.org